Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Antarctic Volcano, Siple Shows Signs Of Activity

You don't normally hear much from the land way, way down under given the very low human presence in Antarctica, but today the GVP reports that the Antarctic stratovolcano Siple is showing geothermal signs. This was confirmed via satellite imagery which observed vapor plumes and temperature variations at the summit of the massive volcano. If confirmed, this would be the first credible evidence on record for historical activity at the volcano. While the volcano has been studied and determined to be Holocene of age, it has not had any confirmed activity since it has been discovered, and a potassium-argon date is unavailable for its apparently most recent eruption.

The GVP describes this volcano as follows:

"Mount Siple is a youthful-looking shield volcano that forms an island along the Pacific Ocean coast of Antarctica's Marie Byrd Land. The massive 1800 cu km volcano is truncated by a 4-5 km summit caldera and is ringed by tuff cones at sea level. Its lack of dissection in a coastal area more susceptible to erosion than inland Antarctic volcanoes, and the existence of a satellite cone too young to date by the Potassium-Argon method, suggest a possible Holocene age (LeMasurier and Thomson 1990). The location of Mount Siple on published maps is 26 km NE of the actual location. A possible eruption cloud observed on satellite images on September 18 and October 4, 1988 was considered to result from atmospheric effects after low-level aerial observations revealed no evidence of recent eruptions (Smithsonian Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin)."

The current statement from the GVP as of today's weekly report:

"Infrared imagery from the Metop satellite showed a possible rising steam plume from the area of Siple on 20 June. The imagery, as interpreted by Mark Drapes, indicated that the volcano was about -22 degrees Celsius, about 6 degrees warmer that the surrounding landscape, and the base of the plume was about -55 degrees Celsius."

While this report is not definitive proof that the volcano is erupting or preparing to erupt, it could indicate some unrest. The only evidence whatsoever so far that it is an active volcano is the 6 degrees Celsius differential from the surrounding area, and what appears to be steam from a satellite view. Until scientists or an expedition can have visual proof from the ground, this could end up being something like the 1988 'episode' that ended up to be an error. No worries however, as the volcano exists in one of the most remote places on earth, with not a human being in sight for thousands of miles.

1 comment:

  1. Earth is at its Limites

    MANY OF US IN THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY HAVE BEEN SAYING SOME OF THIS FOR YEARS

    The United Nations is now taking a serious look into "Earth's Limits" Earth will very soon be at its Limits of no return for many things including all life on Earth.
    If we keep going at this rate we will not have another 20 years to go back to Rio De Janeiro to play. Most all in the Scientific Community said this 20 years ago at the last time Leaders set up this meeting in Rio De Janeiro. Of course on the Tax payers money, and of course they said about the same thing again we need to do something!

    There is enough Energy from our Sun to Power all are needs on Earth and more Solar Energy. The Fastest growing energy on Earth.

    Albert Einstein 100 years ago showed the World it could get
    Free Energy, Electric from the SUN. (THE PHOTOVOLTAIC EFFECT).

    ReplyDelete

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